On 15 June 1996 a bomb exploded in Manchester injuring over two hundred people and devastating the city centre.

A coded warning had been received by a local television station at 10.00 am and the police began to evacuate the city. As the bomb disposal team examined a suspicious van outside a shopping centre, the bomb exploded at 11.20 am injuring numbers of shoppers mainly as a result of flying glass. Ambulance crews say that if the evacuation had not taken place, many could have died.

RTÉ News spoke to some eye-witnesses who describe what they saw.

The reaction from most people here is that they cannot understand the minds of those who have done this.

The city is almost completely shut down with the cancellation of all major events. The Nynex Arena in the city is offering a meeting place for tourists and evacuees from the city centre with no place to go. The police search for possible further devices continues with London Metropolitan Police being called in to assist in the operation.

The bomb was detonated by the IRA.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 June 1996. The reporter is Carole Coleman.